* 1948 Paduli
Born Domenico Paladino in Paduli near Benevento in 1948, Paladino came into contact with art at an early age. His uncle, a painter, made him familiar with both traditional and contemporary painting. In 1964 went to the Venice Biennale, where he was especially impressed with the work of Claes Oldenburg and Jim Dine. That same year Paladino enrolled at the Benevento Art School and began his career with non-representational painting incorporating collage elements. At that time Paladino particularly admired the work of Max Ernst and Paul Klee. After finishing art school in 1968, Paladino decided against further academic study, preferring to teach himself. Inspired by mythological motifs, Paladino devoted himself to drawing in the early 1970s. Mimmo Paladino's first exhibition was mounted by the Lucio Amelio Gallery in Naples in 1977. For this show Paladino developed the idea of drawing in holistic form by painting an entire wall in pastels like a fresco. Paladino went to Milan several times, where he met the critic Tommaso Trini and Franco Toselli, who would become his agent. In 1978 Paladino first presented drawings and murals at Franco Toselli's gallery that would shape his future work. That same year Paladino went to New York for the first time. In 1980 Palladino collaborated with the Modena publisher Emilio Mazzoli on a book with texts by Achille Bonito Oliva. In the early 1980s Palladino went to Brazil several times. Since the mid-1970s Palladino's work has been shown at numerous major international exhibitions, including the 1980 Venice Biennale, the 1982 Sydney Biennale and documenta 7 in Kassel the same year. Mimmo Paladino is now regarded as a leading exponent of the Italian Transavanguardia alongside Clemente, Cucchi and Chia.